May 21, 2009, - 2:48 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Unlike most other critics, I actually like “Terminator Salvation.” As sequels go, it wasn’t bad. If there was one objectionable thing it was that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger apparently has so few problems to deal with in California, he apparently had time to work with filmmakers for his computer-generated, much younger-looking naked cameo in the film.
But aside from that, I found it entertaining. It wasn’t a great movie. But it was engrossing, if often a little slow, despite the action. It’s dark, gritty, and definitely a guy’s movie.
I liked it not just for its unwavering portrayal of good versus evil and man versus machine. I liked that the movie was full of heroism and respect for human life. And no-one wanted to go “negotiate” or “reason” with the terminator machines, like they do with Ahmadinejad or the rest of our enemies. They realized they were their enemies and they wanted to just flat-out destroy them.
The plot: It’s the year 2018, and an entity known as “Skynet”–run by computers–has taken over the world. It and its terminator robots and machines have destroyed most humans and most cities (and the desolate sets reflect that). But pockets of human resistance in Los Angeles and other parts of California are fighting back, so that the human race will survive.
John Connor (Christian Bale) is the grown man who was once the baby of the Linda Hamilton character in the original “Terminator” movie. He is leading the human resistance or sort of leading it and contending with higher ranking human commanders. Connor knows that he must find and save a kid named Kyle Rees, who is his real-life father. If he doesn’t, he will cease to exist and the human race will be defeated by Skynet and its terminator machines.
Meanwhile, Marcus Wright, a man who thought he was executed in 2003 awakens and finds himself helping the resistance. But is he really human or a machine?
Full of action and special effects, the real star of the movie was not Christian Bale, but actor Sam Worthington, who plays the heroic Wright–poignantly playing a wholly moral being torn between man and machine.
Yes, the movie is a doomsday flick. And, even though I like that genre, I’m getting tired of those. Aren’t we all?
Still, as a sequel and sci-fi movie complete with light escapist entertainment and a ton of action and great FX, this one isn’t bad. And it’s actually pretty good. Plus, you needn’t have seen any previous “Terminator” movies to see and know what’s going on in this one.